Shar Wilson picture

Shar Wilson

Victoria, BC

Niit! Hello. I am a Gitxsan / Nishga’a graphic artist. I create beautiful art using a computer and rough sketch.
I am influenced by my culture and my nations, the Gitxsan and the Nishga'a. My Nishga’a ancestors moved to Gitxsan territory to marry in the mid-1800s. The Gitxsan and Nishga’a are a matrilineal people, which means I inherit my lineage from my maternal side. My father clan is the Lax Gibuu (wolf). My clan is the Ganada (frog). My ancestors continued our house in Gitxsan territory and now have a place in the feast hall in Wilps, Ladaax.

My name is Wihl Buun, which translates to the 'splash made by the Whales' tail as it hits the surface of the ocean'. So, the beautiful water creatures inspire me. I grew up in Gitxsan territory where I learned the traditions of the Gitxsan, my traditions, my families’ traditions. My grandmother brought me to the feasts, our Gitxsan form of governance, and taught me the protocols and our Ayooxw. The lessons included reverence, respect, compassion, and love. So, my Mother and Grandmothers influence me.

As I walk through this world, I am in awe of all her creatures and see form in all them. So, when I ‘draw’, I sometimes take the actual subject as in a picture, and draw from that. I combine my form line with what I refer to as the Spirit line of the creature. Other times, I use only my form line…forms that have been passed on since time immemorial.

Finally, I always consider the love I have for my husband of 33 years, our children, their spouses and our grandchildren. I especially lean into the love and grief I have for my son, Jordan, who I lost in 2009. I have been a graphic artist since 2012, only a good one in the last few years. So, you can see by the timeline, this art came by way of a life changing event. Being so very vulnerable has opened my Spirit and I am not the same person I was before 2009.

I wish to create pieces that aspire to convey this love, this compassion, this reverence, this beauty as taught to me. I am a woman who has been through too many hard times, I’ve been very lost, I’ve been hurt and have hurt, I am also loved, I have loved and lost and I have forgiven and I work to forgive and pray I have been forgiven. Being ashamed, in shame, has torn down walls that I built up to keep everyone out and now I create from this place of vulnerability and shame and forgiveness and love.

Shar.

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